American Apparel Inc. late Wednesday reported double-digit sales increases in its December same-store and net sales, elevating its fourth-quarter revenues nearly 10 percent.
The Los Angeles-based vertical retailer of fashion basics reported that its net sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 hit $157.9 million, 9.7 percent above the $144 million tallied in the comparable 2010 period. Comparable-store sales rose 7 percent in the quarter while online sales were up 20 percent and net sales of its wholesale operations were 6 percent higher.
December results were uniformly stronger, with overall net sales up 15 percent to $56.3 million. Comps for the month were up 11 percent and both, online sales and wholesale revenues 25 percent above those of December 2010. The company didn’t disclose dollar amounts for the 2010 period.
“In December, we continued to build momentum in our business,” said Dov Charney, chairman and chief executive officer of the firm. “Our sales exceeded plan in all channels and we saw good progress in our wholesale channel across a broad spectrum of customers. Our retail sales increases were also broad-based with notably large increases in the U.S., in all Asian markets and in Australia. Our product is resonating well with our customers both in stores and online.”
The strong finish last month for the company, which has been struggling with liquidity issues for several years and more recently with executive turnover, lifted revenues for the full year to $547.7 million, 2.8 percent above the $533 million registered in 2010. Comps for the year were flat while online sales rose 17 percent and wholesale revenues picked up 2 percent.
The results were disclosed in advance of American Apparel’s participation in the ICR Xchange Conference next week and didn’t refer to its profitability. The company had said previously that it expected to post about $15 million in EBITDA for the fiscal year, versus an EBITDA loss of $8 million last year.
American Apparel has sought fresh financing to pay off a Bank of America credit facility that matures in July and on which $47.6 million was owed as of Oct. 31. Negotiations with Colbeck Capital, a private equity firm backed by Ron Burkle, hit an impasse last month, following the departures of Tom Casey as acting president in November and Marty Staff as chief business development officer in October.
The company operated 249 stores in 20 countries as of Dec. 31.